Murder charges filed in connection with Jewish Community Center slayings

Murder charges were filed today in Johnson County District Court against a white supremacist, Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., in connection with the killings of three persons Sunday at the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.

Authorities said that the suspect, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, was charged with one count of capital murder and a count of first-degree premeditated murder, and also might face federal charges later in connection with hate crimes.

The suspect, 73, is from Aurora, Mo., and has a long history of involvement in white supremacist groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bond was set at $10 million.

The Johnson County killings were mentioned today in a message to Congress by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting $15 million in funding for active shooter training for law enforcement officers to help them to respond to mass shooting incidents. The training would be for front-line officers.

 

Community service planned in response to shootings

A community service is planned in response to the shootings at the Jewish Community Center parking lot on Sunday.

The Interfaith Communal Service of Unity and Hope will be a 45-minute service at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Jewish Community Center, White Theatre, 5801 W. 115 St., Overland Park, Kan.

Clergy from across the Kansas City area will lead prayers of solace, healing and hope, according to an announcement today from the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

Messages of condolences have poured in from throughout the nation, including from President Obama, to community residents and to the victims’ families.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-3rd Dist., sent out this message:

“On Palm Sunday and the eve of Passover, our entire community was shocked to learn of a horrific act of hate that led to the deaths of three of our beloved community members.

“I was heartbroken to learn of the shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park. Brooke and I are praying for the families and victims of this tragedy and our office continues to stand ready to provide needed assistance.

“While facts are being gathered by local and national law enforcement, it is difficult to accept and understand the answers to many questions surrounding the senseless act of hate that was committed.

“During these most difficult times, a tight-knit and caring community is often our best source of support and comfort. Overland Park and the entire Greater Kansas City area is a shining example of family in community. We will comfort each other, support each other, and help each other through this tragedy.

“What happened on Sunday may have broken our hearts, but it has stiffened our resolve. We go forward unified in thought, word and deed.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims lost.”

Shooting near Jewish Community Center to be treated as hate crime

The shooting deaths of three persons Sunday near the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park will be treated as a hate crime, federal and Johnson County officials said today.

The three victims of the shootings were identified as Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, Stilwell, Kan.; his grandfather, Dr. William Corporon, 69, Overland Park, Kan., both of whom were in the parking lot near the Jewish Community Center; and Terri (Hastings) LaManno, 53, Kansas City, Mo., who was visiting her mother at Village Shalom.

President Obama expressed his condolences to the victims and the people of Overland Park today and Sunday.

The man in custody, Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, of Aurora, Mo., has connections to white supremacist groups.

On Sunday, a human rights activist from Kansas City, Kan., Alvin Sykes, called for a federal criminal civil rights investigation into the shooting deaths.

On Monday, Leonard Zeskind of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, stated that the suspect in the past had created a heavily armed paramilitary organization in North Carolina, and that IREHR seeks “complete justice” in this case.